While chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant has a deft way with premium seafood and meat at two-MICHELIN-star Saint Pierre, it is with the beautiful fruit and vegetables imported from Japan where his personal touch truly shines. Since adopting a vegetarian diet more than a decade ago, salads have become a mainstay of the chef’s daily meals with the combination of tomatoes and avocadoes a particular favourite.
“When we found the sweet Japanese Amela tomato, I wanted to create a dish based on those two components,” shares Stroobant. Specially produced in Shizuoka, Amela tomatoes are high in sugar content, boasting an umami taste and a natural fruity sweetness. “It has gone through many variations over the years and it is a dish that is still featured on Saint Pierre’s menu today.”
Creamy Hass avocado puree dots the surface of a perfectly round, peeled Amela tomato, the dish then simply dressed in an aromatic Asian-inspired oil with floral notes of Szechuan peppercorn. Bearing bright colours of red and green, the appetiser resembles a Christmas bauble that is perfect for the festive season.
Ingredients for Tomato:
2 Amela tomatoes, washed & peeled
1 lily bulb, washed & thinly sliced
Mixed cress or flowers to garnish, washed and kept on kitchen towel
Ingredients for Avocado Cream:
150g avocado, peeled & stone removed
20ml basil oil
8ml lime juice
1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the avocado cream. Puree until smooth and strain.
2. Reserve in squeeze bottle and keep chilled.
Ingredients for Szechuan Peppercorn Oil:
100ml grapeseed Oil
15g Szechuan peppercorn
15g fresh ginger, peeled & grated
6 garlic cloves, peeled & grated
20g black sesame seeds
20g light soya sauce
15ml rice vinegar
1. In a small pot, heat the grapeseed oil. Do not allow it to smoke. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Pour the warm oil over the ingredient into the bowl.
3. Allow to infuse for 3 minutes.
4. Strain out the ingredients and reserve the oil. Allow to cool.
To finish, place the peeled tomato in the middle of plate. Dot it with avocado cream. Garnish with lily bulb, cress and flowers. Lightly dress with Szechuan peppercorn oil.